Filly latest in line of white thoroughbreds from NZ mare

Casta Diva and her filly foal by Gold Ship.
Casta Diva and her filly foal by Gold Ship. © NZ Thoroughbred Marketing

The white thoroughbred mare who sold at New Zealand’s Premier Yearling Sales at Karaka in 2016 for $450,000 has produced a white foal.

Casta Diva raced in Japan for owner Hideo Takadaru and won a race over 2600m while still technically a two-year-old. She is by High Chaparral and out of the white mare The Opera House (2006), a three-quarter sister to champion galloper Might And Power, being by Zabeel and out of Carmina Burana.

Casta Diva was born at Windsor Park Stud in September, 2014. Offered at New Zealand’s Premier Yearling Sales at Karaka, Takadaru travelled to New Zealand specially to secure her.

“She was the horse I came here to buy and she is the only one I wanted,” Takadaru said at Karaka 2016.

“When I saw the video of her on the internet I knew she is the sort of horse I wanted to buy.

“I was interested in both her physique and her pedigree. The price was very high, but I am very happy.”

As a breeder of extravagantly coloured koi carp, Takadaru was captivated by the rare white.

With a further two placings to her name from an 11-start career, the intention had been to breed Casta Diva to Deep Impact, but the champion sire died last year and Takadaru was forced to find a replacement.

He chose quirky grey Gold Ship, a six-time Group One winner. The resulting foal is a gorgeous white filly, set to wow the crowds like her mother and grandmother for years to come.

Casta Diva racing in Japan.
Casta Diva racing in Japan. © Photography by MH/NZ Thoroughbred Marketing

As for The Opera House, she has since produced white foals by Shamexpress (named Grand Bernini) and Charm Spirit (named Utzon), who have both won in Australia, while she was covered by champion stayer Mongolian Khan last season.

The Opera House was bred by Sydney-based Rod Martin, who would later sell her for $280,000 as a yearling.

She won a maiden race at Wyong over 2100m for trainer Kris Lees and owner John Singleton, her sole win in nine starts to go with five placings.

As a broodmare, The Opera House had left a bay filly by Big Brown before being offered for sale at Magic Millions where she was purchased by Michael Wallace on behalf of Rodney Schick of Windsor Park Stud.

The Opera House and her Mongolian Khan filly.
The Opera House and her 2017 Mongolian Khan filly. © Windsor Park Stud

As the breeders of Might And Power, Windsor Park Stud were naturally drawn to his three-quarter sister The Opera House, who subsequently foaled a chestnut colt by Pluck before visiting High Chaparral, a stallion who had excelled at Windsor Park Stud before his relocation to Coolmore Australia.

The Pluck colt was offered for sale at the 2014 Karaka Yearling sales and brought $50,000, but it was the Casta Diva who took all of the limelight from the day she was born in September 2014.

» More white and coloured thoroughbreds

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